Master One Thing To Master Oneself

“To know ten thousand things, know one well.” —Musashi Miyamoto, The Book of Five Rings It has been said many times and in many different ways that a person cannot serve two masters well. It is very difficult for our minds to hold two conflicting truths simultaneously. It is even harder still for our bodies…

The Milk Is Already On The Table

Jiu-Jitsu White Belt: “Professor, what should I do if somene has me belly-down in back mount, hooks in, with my arms trapped under my chest, and they begin applying a rear-naked choke?” Professor Pedro Sauer: “Tap and start over. The milk is already on the table.” The above quote is my best recollection of an…

Taikyoku Aikido and Aikido of Pittsburgh

In the Spring of 2014, I attended my first aikido seminar. The seminar was hosted by Aikido of Pittsburgh and featured Ellis Amdur who would be teaching his unique framework for aikido which he called Taikyoku Aikido. Taikyoku Aikido is based on Amdur’s observation that all aikido techniques can be mapped along five movement shapes,…

Jita Kyōei: We Are In This Together

Training for mutual welfare and benefit (自他共栄 jita kyōei). Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, did much to revolutionize Japanese martial arts. From older, more violent martial systems, Kano compiled the techniques that were both safe for everyday training and most effective in randori (sparring). His goal was to create a system of physical and…

Enjoyment Is Its Own Reason

Why practice a martial art that is not “the best?” There is a lot of criticism in martial arts circles these days around what are seen as impractical or ineffective martial arts. These are martial arts that do not participate in sportive sparring, competitive bouts, or resistance-based training. At the top of the list are…